Structural Weaving 2018-05-03T09:55:40+00:00

Workshop #1

Structural Weaving

Dates: 25-27 June

ECTS credits: 1,5

Duration: 2,5 days

Number of contact hours: 21

Maximum number of participants: 16


  • To understand how material manipulation for design can relate and translate to shape computing,
  • To decipher the causal links between the interventions on the material and shape making so that both can be integrally represented for computing,
  • To engage in a materially informed process with shape rules and to understand that these rules can be applied creatively to explore the physical character of the material,
  • To translate the shape formalism into a digital parametric model and explore fabrication strategies.


Any haptic procedure such as bending, stretching, twisting a physical object does not only require technical know-how but also sensory engagement and personal connection with the material. The sensory and personal aspects often remain incommunicable and tacit in traditional craft practices, such as basket weaving.

In basket weaving, the exact final form is rarely definable in advance. Rather than being imposed on the material, the form comes into existence during weaving, a process that involves bending and twisting of thin linear strips of flexible material. The strips perform as a physical system in shaping the final woven form.

Although the final forms cannot be fully designed in advance, the formal relations of the physical system that anticipate these forms can be defined. In the workshop, we will first formalize basket weaving by developing a basket weaving grammar that uses abstract shapes and material shapes in tandem. The aim is to cover as much of its full sensory breadth as possible. The grammar will be used 1) to discover the underlying rules and relations in existing woven artifacts, and 2) to generate new ones. In the second stage, we will translate the basket weaving grammar into a parametric weaving algorithm in Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper. The aim of the second stage is to explore the use of the grammar in the design and fabrication of self-standing gridshell structures.


Basic knowledge on Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper.


June 25 (whole day) – MAKE – COMPUTE – MAKE:

  • Introduction to the basket weaving grammar, and computation with abstract and material shapes
  • Hands-on exploration of basket weaving rules
  • Analysis of existing artifacts: identifying patterns, defining rule sets, designating physical parameters
  • Generation of new artifacts: defining rule sets, designating physical parameters, representing computation
  • Discussion

June 26 (whole day) – DESIGN – COMPUTE – DESIGN:

  • Introduction to parametric weaving algorithm in Rhinoceros 3D and Grasshopper
  • Exploration of the parametric weaving algorithm
  • Digital reproduction of existing artifacts: exploring form, defining rule sets, designating digital parameters
  • Generation of new designs for gridshell structures: exploring form, defining rule sets, designating digital parameters
  • Exploration of digital fabrication strategies
  • Discussion

June 27 (morning) – REMAKE:

  • Working on improvements and alternatives
  • Digital fabrication of strip units
  • Fabrication of gridshells
  • Revising the rule sets, if necessary
  • Discussion and Final Wrap-up

If there is no quorum, the workshops will be cancelled.


Benay Gürsoy Toykoç
Benay Gürsoy ToykoçAssistant Professor
Benay is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Penn State University. Her research and teaching focus is on computational making, digital fabrication, craft theory, shape studies, basic design education, and cognitive studies of the design process.
Mine Özkar
Mine ÖzkarProfessor of Architecture
Mine is the coordinator of the Architectural Design Computing Program at Istanbul Technical University. She works on visual, spatial and material computing in design, and the integration of foundational design education and computational design knowledge.
Rui de Klerk
Rui de KlerkPhd Candidate
Rui is an FCT Doctoral grantee (SFRH/BD/131386/2017) developing his research at the Design and Computation Group of Faculdade de Arquitetura da Universidade de Lisboa, combining semantic web techonologies with generative design systems to create semantic design systems.
José Nuno Beirão
José Nuno BeirãoProfessor
José is the head of the Design and Computation Group of Faculdade de Arquitetura da Universidade de Lisboa. His current research focuses on the combination of parametric systems with geographical databases applied to urban studies and urban design.

Great news! The early-bird deadline has been extended to the 11th of May.

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